Godly Anger

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All around God’s sacred land were nations who refused to worship the God of Israel. They were so proud that they often mocked God thinking that they were better than God.

In this part of the book of Ezekiel, the prophet has some strong words from God toward these neighboring countries. He tells how angry God becomes when innocent people are mistreated.

I think of a group of mothers who got very angry about how people who drive while drunk were killing their children. They formed a group called Mothers Against Drunk Drivers—MADD. You know something? There are more people alive today because those mothers got angry and did something positive with their emotions. Now there are stricter laws when someone is caught drunk driving. Sometimes we need some of God’s anger to work for justice and fairness that God wants for God’s children.

Think about the times when you are angry. Are you angry when it’s just about YOU, or are you angry sometimes for the reasons that God is angry in today’s reading? This Godly anger.

Ezekiel 25:1-7

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Mondays are dedicated to the Prophets
In the season of Easter, we read from the prophet Ezekiel.


This is a sample of a new version of The Bible Through the Seasons as a daily family devotion. An ebook is planned. I’ll keep you posted! –Pastor Nick

The Good Shepherd

The Fourth Sunday in Easter

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Like the centerpiece at your dining room table, so is this picture of Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Today is the center-Sunday of the Easter Season.

Jesus as the Good Shepherd was one of the very first images that early Christians used to express the comfort and protection they found in their Risen Lord. Drawings of the Good Shepherd are found on the walls of the Catacombs, ancient underground cemeteries in the city of Rome. We pray in Psalm 23, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I feel no evil, for you are with me.” Christians who died for their faith were buried there. They are called martyrs.

Many countries search out Christians to do them harm, just because they are preaching about Jesus’s love and forgiveness. Sometimes these persons are killed for their faith. Whenever we experience anything mean, we can always turn to Jesus, our Good Shepherd who will lead us to spiritual places of peace, even in the midst of pain.

John 10:11-18

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Sundays are dedicated to the Gospel.
During the season of Easter, we read the Gospel of John.


This is a sample of a new version of The Bible Through the Seasons as a daily family devotion. An ebook is planned. I’ll keep you posted! –Pastor Nick

A Hug from Jesus

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For the Hebrew people, the priests were also considered as medical doctors. They were the ones to diagnose illness. One of the diseases was called leprosy—a very serious skin disease. If a priest said that a person had the disease, that person had to completely stay away from others, calling out “Unclean, Unclean!” so that no one would touch him or her. How sad! Here there is a sickness and to top it all off, no one was to come near the person to offer care and comfort.

There’s a story in the Gospels of Jesus coming right up to a leper and touching the person, and the person was healed (Matthew 8:1-14). It is the touch of Jesus that comforts and heals us. Spend some time praying and inviting Jesus to come near you and touch your heart and ask you to make you whole and happy. If there is some sickness you have in your body, or you are just plain sad, ask Jesus to come and give you a hug so that that can feel better again.

Leviticus 13:45-46

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Saturdays are dedicated to the Torah Portions
read along with synagogues throughout the world.


This is a sample of a new version of The Bible Through the Seasons as a daily family devotion.  An ebook is planned. I’ll keep you posted! –Pastor Nick

 

 

Remaining in Jesus

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As you read today’s passage, count how many times the words “remain in” are used. Sometimes the phrase is translated as “abide in,” as Jesus says that he is going to make his home inside of us and our spiritual home inside of God.

Jesus offers the image of a vine and its branches as a way to understand the very great closeness that Jesus wants us to have with him, the Father and the Holy Spirit. As close as are the branches to a vine, that is how close we are to be to Jesus. In fact, a whole bunch of branches IS the vine, isn’t it? All of us together in our love and trust of Jesus, make up the risen body of Jesus, the true vine.

Today, look about you and find plants that are all connected together. You might begin by simply looking at trees! As you look, think of yourself as part of the very Body of the Risen Jesus.

John 15:1-17

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Fridays are dedicated to the Gospels.
During Lent and Easter, we read the Gospel of John.


This is a sample of a new version of The Bible Through the Seasons as a daily family devotion.  An ebook is planned. I’ll keep you posted! –Pastor Nick

Your Champion God

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Paul and his friend Barnabas begin to spread the Good News about Jesus beyond Israel. They go up north and west through what is now the country of Turkey. One of the features of the book of Acts is that the Apostles perform miracles, as Jesus did—and they suffer persecutions, just as Jesus did.

A crippled man is healed by Paul. The local people think that Paul and Barnabas are some more gods to add to their list of many gods. Paul and Barnabas take the chance to tell these people about the one true God. The people are so happy with these two blessed apostles—but look what happens. Just like some in the crowd that cheered for Jesus when he went into Jerusalem at the beginning of Holy Week and who turned against him on Good Friday, the same thing happens to Paul. They stone him and leave him for dead. But look! He just gets up and keeps on traveling and preaching!

Will you live today trusting that God who raised Jesus to life and who brought Paul back from near death, will be your champion God to love and protect you?

Acts 12:1-19

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Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament except the Gospels.
In the Easter Season we read from the Book of Acts


This is a sample of a new version of The Bible Through the Seasons as a daily family devotion.  An ebook is planned. I’ll keep you posted! –Pastor Nick

Not Worried about What People Think

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A comedian once said: “People who say they don’t care what people think of them are usually desperate to make sure that others think that they don’t care what people think!” Did you get that? Here’s another saying that is similar: “What someone else thinks of you is none of your business!”

In this psalm David offers a way to stop worrying about what people think, or even being afraid of those who want to be mean to us. By keeping his eyes on God and trusting in God’s love and power, David turns his attention away from being so worried about others.

Since nobody can think of two things at the same time, when we think about God, we aren’t so worried about what others are thinking or doing! Now this a way to find peace way inside!

Psalm 64

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Wednesdays are dedicated to the Psalms,
one each week across the three-year cycle.


This is a sample of a new version of The Bible Through the Seasons as a daily family devotion. An ebook is planned. I’ll keep you posted! –Pastor Nick

Wisdom Sinking Deeper

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We’ve been noticing that each proverb has two parts, a positive and negative. Each one is very short—usually just one verse. There’s a certain kind of swing to them, which you can feel if you shift the weight of your body from one foot to the next. You might try saying each of these doing that, swaying from side to side to catch the rhythm. This going back and forth can help the wisdom in the proverbs to sink deeper into your soul—like moving a beach umbrella back and forth as it gradually sinks into the sand.

Are there some proverbs that touch you in a special way? Jot them down on post-it notes and put them in a place where you’ll often see them. Take a drink from their wisdom many times in the course of the day.

Proverbs 19

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Tuesdays are dedicated to the Writings in the Hebrew Scriptures, those books with the exception of the Torah (the first five books of the Bible)
the Prophets and the Psalms.
In the season of Easter we read Proverbs 17 to 19 and Ezra.


This is a sample of a new version of The Bible Through the Seasons as a daily family devotion. An ebook is planned. I’ll keep you posted! –Pastor Nick